A writing folder is a two-pocket folder for each student to store prewriting, drawings, rough drafts, an editing checklist, and any other paper resources needed to support the writing process. The contents of the folder will vary throughout the grades.
In grades K–2, when students are not yet working in a Writer’s Notebook, they will store all of the work that they are doing within a current unit of study in the folder. Many teachers like to have one side of the folder be for work that is currently “in progress” and the other side designated for work that is “finished.” Students will, of course, return to the pieces on the finished side as they learn more about the genre or craft to continue to revise. At the end of a unit of study, teachers and students will empty the writing folder, with the old work either going home or going into some sort of cumulative file for the students.
In grades 3–6, when students are doing their free writing and gathering in their Writers’ Notebooks, they will store drafts they are working on, revision pages, as well as any research that may accompany the unit of study, in their folder. As in the K–2 classrooms, when a unit of study is complete, teachers and students will empty the writing folder of any writing pertaining to that particular unit.
Across the grades, students may also use their folders to store writing resources, such as personal word walls, self-assessment rubrics, editing checklists, and individual copies of unit anchor charts. In the primary grades, it may be helpful to have writing folders that have fasteners, since the two pockets will be designated for work-in-progress and work that is finished. Any paper resources can be three hole-punched and secured in the center of the folder.